My main scholarship interest is in a variety of aspects of the education of engineers through distance learning. This is already becoming a matter of major concern for many conventional universities and the expertise and experience of the established open and distance learning community has much to contribute to the future success of engineering education globally. One emerging area of lively interest is the 'virtualisation' of practical work, which is gaining momentum in various science disciplines. Adapting the lessons of the science community for effective use with engineers is going to be a fascinating challenge over the next few years.
In addition to engineering education, I try to follow the evolution of quality management in higher education and take every opportunity to participate in quality-related activities in my own and other institutions.
My background is in polymer engineering and, while at the OU, I have pursued interests primarily in materials processing and manufacturing. I currently chair T885 Team Engineering, which is the compulsory project course for our MEng degree and I have recently contributed to T174 Engineering the future. My principal focus for the last couple of years, though, has been the redevelopment of Manufacture, Materials, Design, which has taken shape as T805. This has involved revamping much legacy material into a form suitable for online presentation. It has been quite a challenge and the full implications will take some time to emerge.